Problem-Solving Resource Center

Cause and Effect Diagrams

What It Is Used For

  • Similar to Affinity Grouping, it is used to group items. However, the grouping is done in a more structured manner; inputs (causes) are categorized to show how they lead to the output (or the effect.)

When to Use It

  • To sort independent variables (or causes) into like categories.

Important Notes

  • Inputs can often be sorted into 5 categories: People, Methods, Equipment, Materials, and the Environment.
  • Sometimes called a Fishbone Diagram or an Ishikawa Diagram.

Cause and Effect Diagram